Peak Oil for Dummies

Publication date:
First published in:
Seeking Alpha
Lionel Badal

Over the past decade, a fierce debate has emerged amongst energy experts about whether global oil production was about to reach a peak, followed by an irreversible decline.

This event, commonly known as “Peak Oil” far outreaches the sole discipline of geology. From transportation to modern agriculture, petrochemicals and even the pharmaceutical industry all of them rely on one commodity: cheap and abundant oil. In order to sustain the needs of an ever globalized world, oil demand should double by 2050 [3].

Nonetheless, geological limitations will disrupt this improbable scenario. In fact, a growing proportion of energy experts argue that Peak Oil is impending and warn about the extraordinary scale of the crisis...

Published in: Seeking Alpha, 9 August 2009
Available from: Seeking Alpha

Peak Oil in a Carbon Constrained World

Publication date:
First published in:
International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics
T.J. Considine, M. Dalton

The world petroleum complex has been on a treadmill, struggling to add increments of new production to keep pace with growing demand and depletion. If the oil price shock of 1979–1981 is considered an aberration due to panic inventory building, recent real oil prices are at levels not seen since the 19th century. The analysis in this review shows that geophysical models of peak oil predict a pre-mature peaking in world oil production and a decline rate more rapid than the average 3% annual rate of decline observed in countries past peak production. This review also finds that political decisions and events play an important role in determining world oil production and that reserve additions respond to expected prices and costs. The actions of the world oil cartel, the business cycle, and the delayed response of oil demand and supply to prices indicate that the peak of conventional oil production will only be known until well after it has occurred. Despite rapid advances in output from Brazil and West Africa, crude oil production outside OPEC and Russia appears to have peaked in 2002, at least for now. Another tangible indicator of a coming peak is the expansion of unconventional oil production, which is on a collision course with efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. A clear policy direction for carbon regulation that encourages technological innovation is imperative as peak oil approaches.

Published in: International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 327-365
Available from: International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics

Peak Oil and Economics: Some Lessons from Offshore

Publication date:
First published in:
Energy Exploration & Exploitation
M. van Mouri

Abstract unavailable

Published in: Energy Exploration & Exploitation, Volume 21, Number 1, 1 February 2003, Pages 61-69
Available from: IngentaConnect

A Thermodynamic Theory of Economics

Publication date:
First published in:
International Journal of Exergy
J. Bryant

An analogy between thermodynamic and economic theories and processes is developed further, following a previous paper published by the author in 1982. Economic equivalents are set out concerning the ideal gas equation, the gas constant, pressure, temperature, entropy, work done, specific heat and the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. The law of diminishing marginal utility was derived from thermodynamic first principles. Conditions are set out concerning the relationship of economic processes to entropic gain. A link between the Le Chatelier principle and economic processes is developed, culminating in a derivation of an equation similar in format to that of Cobb Douglas production function, but with an equilibrium constant and a disequilibrium function added to it. A trade cycle is constructed, utilising thermodynamic processes, and equations are derived for cycle efficiency, growth and entropy gain. A thermodynamic model of a money system is set out, and an attempt is made to relate interest rates, the rate of return, money demand and the velocity of circulation to entropy gain. Aspects concerning the measurement of economic value in thermodynamic terms are discussed.

Published in: International Journal of Exergy, Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 302-337
Available from: Inderscience Publishers
also available from: Vocat International Ltd

Thermodynamics and the Economic Process

Publication date:
First published in:
John Bryant

This paper develops further a a model of the economic process concerning the application of thermodynamic laws to economics. The paper sets out relationships between economic output and capital, labour, resource and waste stocks, with specific reference to energy, and is backed up by analysis of data of world energy resources and climate change. the paper concludes that both energy resource availability and climate change will have significant, limiting effects on the forward path of economic development.

Published in: Vocat International Ltd
Available from: Vocat International Ltd

Do we need to worry about Peak Oil?

Publication date:
First published in:
Science & Public Affairs
K. Aleklett, M. Lynch

Do we need to worry about Peak Oil? Are oil supplies in decline? Kjell Akelett and Mike Lynch beg to differ in this written debate.

Published in: Science & Public Affairs, December 2008
Available from: the British Association for the Advancement of Science

The Oil Crunch

Publication date:
First published in:
UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security

The main conclusions of the Taskforce are:

1. The effects of peak oil will be felt in the next five years - during the next term of government

· High oil prices combined with the credit crunch had a profound effect on the UK economy this year. The UK needs to plan for the impact of this scenario in the longer term.

· In the absence of strong proactive action the Taskforce anticipate oil prices much higher than the existing record of $147 by 2013.

2. The risks to UK society from peak oil are far greater than those that tend to occupy the Government’s risk-thinking, including terrorism

· As easily and cheaply available oil supplies fall off, high oil prices will become a long-term trend having profound direct and indirect economic impacts:

· Increased oil-based input costs for manufacturing and agriculture

· Increased transport costs throughout the supply chain

· Wider macro-economic shocks via higher inflation, balance of payments deficit and reduction of consumer demand.

3. The UK Government needs to re-prioritise peak oil - as the impacts are more likely to arrive first – before climate change

· Currently the Government places climate change as the first priority for policymaking, followed by energy security, with peak oil in last place.

· In contrast, the Taskforce analysis is that peak oil is more of an immediate threat to the economy and people’s lives than climate change, grave as that threat is too. A rapidly falling supply of oil is likely to hit us before the worst impacts of the greenhouse effect. The Government needs urgently to reflect this threat in their analysis and planning.

At this critical turning point the Taskforce now urgently calls on the Government to:

1. Prioritise the peak oil threat and develop a strategy to address it

· Ed Miliband’s new department needs to develop a national energy plan that acknowledges the imminent threat of peak oil and addresses the entire energy sector.

2. Dramatically and rapidly increase investment in clean energy and renewables

· Policies in the UK Renewable Energy Strategy must go well beyond the EU targets for renewable energy (currently 20% of the energy mix by 2020).

3. Develop and implement a long term sustainable transport policy, with renewable energy sources at its heart

· Increase transport fuelled by sustainable bio-liquids and electricity and escalate measures to reduce the amount of fossil-fuel-based road transport.

Published in: 29 october 2008
Available from: Peak Oil Task Force

Syndicate content